girl wants to find out more about the Requirements for studying in Germany

Requirements for studies in Germany

You can expect to go on quite a journey from when you start researching the idea of studying in Germany to when you arrive there ready to begin. Finding the perfect course at the right university, meeting admission requirements, and getting everything in order for your student visa can be quite a task!

The key to success is taking everything one step at a time and getting as much help as possible to make the whole process go smoothly. We will take a look at the various requirements you will need to meet in order to study in Germany and what help is available.

Visa and residence permit

One of the most important steps in the process is to learn whether you will need a visa and residence permit for your stay in Germany

This will partly depend on which country you are from. As well, the type of course you are planning to take, whether you have been accepted onto the course yet, and how long you want to stay in Germany can all affect your visa application.

Do I need a German student visa to study abroad in Germany?

If you are from an non-EU or non-EEA country you will need to apply for a student visa in order to travel to Germany to study. You must apply through the German Consulate or Embassy in your own country. Student visa applications can take three months or more to process, so make sure you apply well in advance of your planned departure date.

Student visas are usually issued for a three-month period, during which you must apply for a residence permit to continue studying in Germany. The permit usually lasts for two years and you can apply for an extension if your studies last longer.

Learn about the different types of visa available on our Visa for Germany page.

Proof of financial resources

For studying in Germany you need to assure that you can support yourself during your stay

Another very important requirement that you must be able to meet before being able to study at a German university is to prove that you have enough money to support yourself. You must do this by depositing money into a Sperrkonto (blocked bank account). This is an account designed for foreigners who are moving to Germany so that they can provide proof of their financial resources.

There are official estimates of the annual amount a student will need to live in Germany, and this amount must be deposited into the blocked bank account. The annual amount, divided by twelve, is the maximum that you can withdraw each month. Paperwork needed to open a blocked bank account includes:

  • your passport
  • an admission letter to a university
  • a bank statement showing your income

There is also an application fee and a monthly service charge that you will have to pay. Expatrio is an experienced relocation assistance company that helps people find the correct bank account needed for their move to Germany to study or work. We offer the lowest fees for opening and maintaining a blocked bank account. Please read our page dedicated to opening a blocked bank account in order to provide proof of your financial resources.

Health insurance

All international students must have health insurance to study in Germany

Proof of your coverage will be needed when applying for a student visa and when enrolling at a university. It may be possible in some cases to use your health insurance from your own country. You may also need some extra coverage to cover your individual needs.

What to do if your insurance from your home country is not recognised?

You will need to apply for health insurance in Germany. Relocation experts at Expatrio can assist you in finding the ideal coverage for your time in Germany. Simply answer a few questions about yourself and your intended studies and we will find the right insurance package.

All of our insurance policies are approved for visa applications, and may include accident, liability and travel health insurance. You will also receive an Electronic Health Insurance Card which offers flexibility in choosing your doctor and an easy way to use your coverage. Read our comprehensive guide to health insurance in Germany for more details on what coverage you will need and how we can help you.

Expatrio partners with Techniker Krankenkasse, which has won the best German statutory health insurance fund (public health insurance) award from the renowned Focus-Money health insurer test twelve times in a row.

University entrance qualifications

What is the German Higher Education Entrance Qualification?

The Hochschulzugangsberechtigung or HZB (higher education entrance qualification) is the certificate, qualifications or proof of studies to show that you have completed a secondary education level. There are different HZB types, some will be sufficient to qualify you for entrance to the university and some will not.

If your qualification is not accepted you may have to take a Studienkolleg (foundation course) and a German language test in order to be able to enroll in a course. This course takes one or two semesters, depending on your abilities, and you must pass an entrance exam afterwards. You can check the DAAD entrance qualification database to see if your qualifications are recognized in Germany.

In some cases, a submission of examples of your work may be accepted instead of the academic qualification. In other cases, an aptitude test can be taken to prove your abilities. The TestAS or Test für Ausländische Studierende (test for foreign students) consists of a general module for all students and a second one covering your field of interest.

What are the entry requirements to study abroad in Germany?

The exact requirements needed will depend on the specific course you are interested in taking. The International Office at the university can help you to understand all of the entry requirements that apply to you.

If you need to take a language proficiency or aptitude test ensure that you apply and prepare for the test in plenty of time before your course starts. Similarly, all of your documents should be prepared several months in advance. Allow yourself enough time to have everything ready and make changes, if needed.

In addition to any academic requirements, you will need to apply for a student visa, and Expatrio can help you to open a blocked bank account and secure health insurance.

Check out our Value Package

To make applying for a student visa easier, Expatrio can help you with the required paperwork for Health Insurance and a Blocked Account, which are needed as part of your visa application. With our Value Package it is easier than ever to apply!


German language skills

Knowledge of German is a prerequisite for most standard degree programmes, but not for international degree courses

If you can already speak German you can take the TestDaF or DSH to prove your proficiency in the language. Check with the university you are applying to as to whether German skills are required for your particular course.

Do I need to speak German?

It is not vital that you are able to speak German in order to study in Germany. You can enroll in one of over 1,500 courses that are taught in English in universities around the country.

Of course, it is useful to learn some German for day-to-day use while you are living there. Many universities offer language courses for beginners. The Studentenwerk (student council) offers assistance to international students in various ways, including a buddy system to help you settle in. Making friends with German students is a great way to start learning the language and adjust to life on campus.

For more information on the German Language read our Learn German page.


Enrolling in the university makes you officially a student

This must be done before you can start your course and use university facilities, such as the library. You will need to take your paperwork to the Administration Office, including:

  • Your passport and a passport photo
  • Your student visa or residence permit
  • Application form
  • Admission letter
  • Proof of health insurance coverage

For admission to German university, there is a registration fee, which is usually between €150 and €250. You will also need to re-register before the start of every semester and pay the fee each time. You can also purchase a semester ticket which gives you free public transport access for six months.

Once you have enrolled, you able to start studying and will be given a student ID card. This will be needed to attend classes and later apply for a residence permit, as it is proof of the student status at the university.